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6523.0 - Income Distribution, Australia, 1995-96  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/08/1997   
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MEDIA RELEASE

August 1, 1997
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)
114/97

Income survey

In 1995-96 the average weekly income received by couple families was $868, by one-parent families $433 and by single persons $370, according to results from the latest household survey of income released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Survey results show that levels of income are strongly related to life-cycle stages, such as early youth, and the formation, maturation and dissolution of nuclear families.

Young, independent single persons aged under 25 had an average weekly income of $313. This rose to $495 for single persons aged between 25 and 34, reflecting their higher employment rates and higher salaries.

As young people enter into relationships their income rises as they often have two income earners contributing to their family income. Young couples under 35 with no dependent children received an average of $1092 a week.

The birth of children and the early years of child rearing are associated with reduced labour force participation of parents. The average income of couples with young children, eldest under 5, was $925 per week. Income rises again as the children grow older. Couples with older children, eldest 15 to 24, had an average income of $1080 a week.

For one-parent families the average weekly income increased with the age of the parent. Lone parents aged between 25 and 34 received an average weekly income of $394. For lone parents over 45, the average was $524.

The level of income received by couple families is at its peak when they are between 45 and 54 years, at $1077 a week. As parents age and children become independent, income again declines, in particular in the pre-retirement and retirement years. Couples aged 55 to 64 received an average income of $703 and for those over 65 the average income fell to $429 a week.

Single persons aged 45 to 54 had an average income of $442 per week and those over 65 an average of $226.

Further details are in Income Distribution, Australia, 1995-96 (cat. no. 6523.0) which is available from ABS bookshops in each capital city.

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